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The writings of author, therapist, and priest Robert Warren Cromey.

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Thursday, October 02, 2008

Open Letter to Bishop Charleston

October 2, 2008

Dear Bishop Charleston,

I enjoyed the first night and first morning of your presentation at the clergy conference. I left after lunch the first afternoon.

Here are some reactions to your after post conference meditation. You wrote:

“….That’s also why I kept reminding us that our goal was to discover ways to love one another more fully.

Love is not an easy assignment for us. In fact, it would be far easier to just keep talking about the “issues” and not about ourselves.”

RWC - Talking about issues and more importantly doing something about them are ways of loving. When Andrus got arrested for opposing the wars, he acted out of love for the victims of war and the love of peace. Few clergy or lay people “act” on the issues. When Native Americans and their allies invaded Alcatraz in the 1970’s they acted out of love, a love of oppressed people and a love of justice for people who had been robbed of their land.

I find that we clergy are not very good about talking about ourselves. We talk about facts, ideas, and spiritual insights but seldom about our feelings of anger, sadness, joy, fear and sexuality. No real communication goes on without adding those dimensions of human experience.

“Jesus told us not to fall into that comfortable culture of political correctness, but rather, to get busy in the hard work of loving one another.

If we need a hint about just how hard that is, then consider these few random thoughts. To love another is to be honest with them. To love another means trusting them. Love demands that the other is not an add-on to our own lives, but an agent of change that helps us to grow and evolve.”

RWC- To love one another is tell emotional truth. To love one another means to help others trust us. Love means that we are agents of change and demonstrate that in deeds as well as words.

“Love requires a suspension of our ego and a flowering of our humility. Love is the discipline of listening and the challenge of sacrifice.”

RWC- Love demands that we have an ego to suspend, that humility is revealing the real truth about ourselves and not our “act” or who we pretend to be.

I hope in the days to come you will encourage the clergy to act as well and talk and think. I hope that you will suggest small group ways for clergy to share their real selves and not just their triumphs and failures.

I wish you well in your work and new ministry here in the Wild West.




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